7 of the Best Car Ads We Will Never Forget

7 of the Best Car Ads We Will Never Forget

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A well-executed TV advertisement can raise the profile of a company and product for many years after it is first aired. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of car advertisements.

Throughout the ages, there have been some absolute classics that really have stood the test of time. Here are 7 prime examples.

Bathe in the glorious nostalgia! You are welcome.


What is the most popular commercial of all time?

As annoying as advertisements can be when watching our favorite TV shows, there have been some absolute classics throughout the ages. You can probably think of a few of the top of your head, but some of the most popular of all time include: -

  • "Pug Attack" (Doritos, 2011).
  • "You're Not You" (Snickers, 2010).
  • "9/11" (Budweiser, 2011).
  • "Sling Baby" (Doritos, 2012).
  • "Mean Joe Greene" (Coca-Cola, 1979).
  • "The Force" (Volkswagen Passat, 2011).
  • "Lost Dog" (Budweiser, 2015).
  • "Puppy Love" (Budweiser, 2015).

But, of course, this is only a small sampling. This kind of topic is also very region-specific.

For example, various Guinness and Carling commercials are also fantastic but were generally restricted to UK TV.

What company has the best commercials?

We have already mentioned a few above, but some of the best adverts ever created come from companies like:-

  • Budweiser.
  • Coors.
  • Doritos.
  • Coca-Cola.
  • Pepsi.
  • State Farm.
  • Various car manufacturers.
  • Tetley Tea.
  • Tootsie Pop.
  • Life Alert.
  • Dish TV.

What was the most successful advertising campaign ever?

By the numbers, there are some clear stand-out commercials from times past that have been very wise investments for the companies behind them.

Based on sale performance, some of the most successful advertising campaigns of all time include, but are not limited to: -

  1. Nike: "Just Do It."
  2. Coke: "Share a Coke."
  3. Absolut Vodka: The Absolut Bottle.
  4. Anheuser-Busch: "Whassup" (1999)
  5. Miller Lite: "Great Taste, Less Filling," (1974)
  6. Always: #LikeaGirl (2015).

What are some of the best car ads of all time?

So, without further ado, here are some of the best car advertisements of all time. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.

Please note many of these were aimed at British markets and may not have appeared on your TV screens.

1. Do you remember this awesome Peugeot 206 commercial?

Did you ever watch this classic car commercial from Peugeot? Called "The Sculptor," it is probably one of the greatest ads ever aired.

The advert was created by Giovanni Porro and involves a young man purposefully damaging his Hindustan Ambassador.

He then spends all night welding and panel-beating it to make it look like Peugeot 206.

Of course, his workmanship is less than perfect, which only adds to the charm of the commercial. After all his hard work, the following day, he takes his new creation on a cruise around his neighborhood.

If you are interested, the track playing is "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" by Raja Mushtaq, later remixed as "Husan" by Bhangra Knights.

2. Honda's "The Cog" is another classic car commercial

Released back in 2003, Honda's "The Cog" advert is yet another of the best car ads of all time. It premiered at the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix advert break in the UK, and cost somewhere in the region of £1,000,000 ($1.3 million) to create.

It was created to promote Honda's latest iteration of the Accord and was initially released in the UK. The advert was based on the concept of a Rube Goldberg Machine and utilized a chain of colliding car parts from a disassembled Accord.

Apparently, the entire advert took 606 takes over four days to film. The investment of time was well worth it, though.

The advert not only raised the profile of Honda but was also good enough to win various critical awards.

3. The Citroen CV featured a dancing robot!

Another amazing car ad from yesteryear was the fabulous Citroen C4 "Alive With Technology" commercial. It first aired in 2004 and is fondly remembered as one of the best car ads ever made.

It featured an incredibly realistic Citroen C4-disguised robot that performs some amazing breakdancing moves. The advert was incredibly well-produced and obviously required some serious talent.

One member of the team was none other than the Oscar-winning director Neill Blomkamp. The robot's amazing fluid moves were created using motion capture technology and Justin Timberlake's dance choreographer Marty Kudelka.

The song Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat) by Les Rythmes Digitales is also an integral part of this great ad.

4. This Skoda Fabia advert is yet another classic

Do you remember this classic car commercial from Skoda? Featured the creation of a lifesize Skoda Fabia cake, it will immediately trigger feelings of nostalgia as soon as you watch it.

Called "Cake," the advert first aired in 2007 and was created to advertise the release of the latest generation of the Skoda Fabia (at the time) in the UK. The commercial was directed by Chris Palmer and featured the classic "My Favorite Things" by Julie Andrews.

"The cake itself took eight people – chefs and model makers – ten days to make at Shepperton Studios, and weighed a ton and a half." - Auto Trader.

It was a critical and popular success that also paid off financially for Skoda. The advert was also recognized with various television awards, including the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, and the Creative Circle Awards.

5. The Volkswagen "The Force" advert was brilliant

First created for the 2011 Super Bowl, this advert from Volkswagen is yet another classic of car commercials. It was created by Donny Deutsch Advertising Inc. (Deutsch) to promote the release of the latest Volkswagen Passat.

Prior to its release, VW had not aired a commercial during a Super Bowl for more than ten years. Within this advert, a young boy dressed as Darth Vader attempts to use the force to control various home appliances, his pet dog, and even a doll.

But after various unsuccessful attempts, he is surprised to find that his "powers" can actually start his father's Passat! Of course, the truth is a little less magical.

6. "Nicole?" "Papa!"

There are very few commercials that actually influence popular culture, but this classic 1998 advert from Renault is certainly one of them. Forming part of a series, this particular episode sees Nicole having a makeover in preparation for a meeting with the French actor Vincent Cassel.

As she meets him, she happens to run into her father leading to one of the most iconic pieces of dialog from a TV ad. In total, there were somewhere in the region of eight episodes in the series which aired between 1991 and 1998.

"The final installment was a spoof of "The Graduate," and saw Nicole leave Vic Reeves at the altar and run away with Bob Mortimer." - Auto Express.

7. This advert really did take our breath away!

And finally, but by no means least, was this iconic advertisement for the Peugeot 405. Released in 1989, it is yet another of the best car adverts of all time.

Set to the sound of "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin, this ad is more akin to an action movie than a regular commercial.

And like many action movies, it makes absolutely no sense. It features random explosions, inexplicably burning fields and a speeding Peugeot 405 with an anonymous driver.

What's the rush? Why is he there? It looks like we will never find out.

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